The current Barclays Premier League leader in goals is certainly a bit of a surprise. Sergio Agüero? No. Alexis Sanchez? Nope. Diego Costa? Not even close. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy presently sits atop the scorers list with 10 goals in his first 10 matches this campaign. Vardy’s start to the season has not only skyrocketed his stock among Premier League strikers but has also helped catapult the Foxes into the fifth place, with the 28-year-old’s output especially impressive considering where he was just a few years ago.
Following his release from Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16, Vardy switched to Stocksbridge Park Steels, where he earned £30 per week and worked in a factory that made medical splints. While he did impress during his younger years with the club, he turned down an opportunity to sign with Rotherham United (a significantly superior team). After three seasons with Stocksbridge, the then 23-year-old transferred to FC Halifax Town, a small club in West Yorkshire, England.
Vardy made an immediate impact on Halifax Town, as he scored the eventual match-winning-goal in his debut appearance. Following a successful season in West Yorkshire and then at Fleetwood Town, the striker finally made the jump to his current club, Leicester City, for a fee of around £1 million. In joining the Foxes, Vardy reportedly turned down both Cardiff City and Peterborough United.
The late bloomer endured a bit of a slow first season in Leicester, as he only managed to score five total goals in 29 matches; however, Vardy’s second season with the club proved much different. The then 26-year-old netted 16 goals, was voted as the Leicester City Player’s Player of the Year, and guided the team to Barclays Premier League promotion following the 2013-14 campaign.
The Sheffield-native’s high level of play over the last few seasons earned him is first England national team call-up at any level. Upon hearing the news of his inclusion, Vardy stated, “I’ve been pinching myself every day since the squad was mentioned. A lot of hard work has gone into it, but it shows people what can happen.”
“When I was at Fleetwood, I could never have imagined signing for Leicester. This is the next stop and it’s even bigger. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot from the players around me in training and if I get some game time I’ll show what I can do. It is a massive opportunity and one I never thought would happen. I’ve got to take it in my stride and make sure I learn. I’ll be giving it my all, and trying to show exactly what I can do to make sure I get called into the squad next time.”
Although Vardy has not claimed a goal so far during his four appearances with the Three Lions, his knack for hitting the back of the net for his club will almost certainly keep him with the England national team. The 28-year-old has a comfortable lead at the top of the Premier League goalscoring list and has a ridiculous string of scoring in seven consecutive matches.
Vardy’s meteoric rise does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. There have even been rumors of a potential Real Madrid bid for the striker in January. While that piece of gossip will most likely not bear fruit, it won’t take anything away from what Vardy has accomplished during a fascinating career.
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